HB 2697 VOTE: NO
Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 06/03/21
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB2697
Chief Sponsors: Rep. Smith (R, HD-1), Gomberg (D, HD-10), Fahey (D, HD 14), and Sen. Manning Jr (D, SD-7).
This bill requires education providers to prohibit bias incidents and the use or display of nooses, symbols of neo-Nazi ideology, or the battle flag of the Confederacy on school property or in an education program.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
A bias incident that includes derogatory language or behavior, which includes criminal investigation or prosecution is impossible or inappropriate, and does not educate or train in responsibility, but trains by fear mongering silencing freedom of speech and expression.
The state legislature trying to define what constitutes an infraction of bias and display of hate without a complete definition is beyond their authority muzzling freedom of speech. Neo-Nazi is racist and is already covered by law. What other biases is allowed under this wording that isn’t directly stated? Establishes exception for displays that align with statewide academic content standards. Requires education providers to adopt policies and establishes policy requirements. Requires education providers to investigate bias incidents. Establishes noncompliance as violation of discrimination in education statute codified in ORS 659.850 et seq. Establishes sanctions for noncompliance, including possible loss of state funding.
Places an undue burden on school faculties and administrations. Such bias displays should be used for training experiences to be a meaningful lesson and not disciplinary excuses. Policy and procedures for any incidents of bullying based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or disability is already covered by law.